Original Northwest Airlines advertising artwork, featuring a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, which launched service in 1949.
Striking image of a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, introduced by Northwest Airlines on June 22, 1949. Beginning in the 1950s, the double-decker Stratocruiser made regular flights to Hawaii and Tokyo. It was retired in 1960.
Mixed media on board, comprising three maquettes from a Northwest Airlines ad campaign, featuring the slogan "Transportation Down the Years", above a soaring Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. In custom portfolio composed of two 20 x 15 in. boards; main image painted on one board, two other smaller images matted and mounted to other board.
The artwork comes in a portfolio bearing the mark CK (Cramer-Krasselt). The agency was founded in 1898 in Milwaukee by Fred "Cody" Cramer and William Krasselt. They relocated their headquarters to Chicago in the mid-1980s.
The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser was a large long-range airliner developed from the C-97 Stratofreighter military transport, itself a derivative of the B-29 Superfortress. The Stratocruiser's first flight was on July 8, 1947. Its design was advanced for its day; its innovative features included two passenger decks and a pressurized cabin, a relatively new feature on transport aircraft. It could carry up to 100 passengers on the main deck plus 14 in the lower deck lounge; typical seating was for 63 or 84 passengers or 28 berthed and five seated passengers.
Adoption of the Stratocruiser got a boost from the US government, with a controversial incentive package offered to Northwest Orient Airlines for its purchase. Its components were unusually generous mail contracts offered to Northwest for opening new routes to Hawaii and points in the western Pacific region that they were invited to apply for, and a Reconstruction Finance Corporation loan earmarked for the purchase of a fleet of Stratocruisers. Pan-Am saw Northwest's mail contract deal and appealed for new terms in their own international mail contracts. The Northwest deal led to allegations of graft and political favoritism towards Boeing.